RUBERTO DENIES PLAN IN WORKS TO NAME HIM PEDA HEAD, plus, BERKSHIRE UNLIVING, WARD 7 & TIN-TON TONY, THE NEW CITY GRINDER, and PETER MAR …CUZZI?
BY DAN VALENTI
Ruberto PEDA Bound?
The Planet has yet to master bi- and tri-location, but we have something even better: our network of spies. They were at the City Council meeting last night, the CEDS meeting earlier in the day, in various offices at city hall, in the municipal departments, in many places downtown, and at other locations throughout the county.
That is how we stay in touch: through the reports from and comments of our field correspondents, secret agents, gumshoes, commandos, operatives, and others who are member the The Planet’s Secret Squadron. They respond by computer, phone, text, and many other ways.
Thus, it came to pass that we received a rather startling missive from The Stooley, one of our secret agents who has appeared in this space before. The Stooley informs us that, according to trusted sources on the city council and elsewhere, Mayor Jimmy Ruberto will be appointed the next head of the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority (PEDA), succeeding Bill Hines, who will be stepping down next month.
According to sources cited by The Stooley, there are four scenarios under which this could take place:
(1) The mayor fulfills his term and prior to his leaving, appoints himself as PEDA director.
(2) The mayor fulfills his term, and after leaving, wins election as PEDA director. Under these two scenarios, an interim director would be in place from May 2011 to January 2012.
(3) The mayor resigns prior to the end of his term, having first appointed himself as PEDA head. City council president Gerry Lee then becomes interim mayor.
(4) The mayor resigns prior to the end of his term then wins election immediately as PEDA director. Lee becomes interim mayor. In scenarios (3) and (4), the mayor could be in place as early as May.
Mayor Issues a Denial
At first glance, the notion of Ruberto as PEDA director sounds far fetched, but match that with his repeated comment that, upon leaving office (whether early or after his term expires) he wants to stick around Pittsfield and become a super-salesman for the city. That could be taken as a job definition of PEDA director.
A story this big needs to be vetted as much as possible without betraying sources. We checked with the mayor, who told The Planet: “Dan; First off, none of the scenarios you mentioned have any validity. In fact, [none have] been discussed. But thanks for the idea. No one believes in the economic development of Pittsfield than me and Bill [Hines]. It would be a great job if someone else could deal with GE and the EPA. You simply can’t believe how slow the wheels turn in the EPA bureaucracy.”
There it is, an official denial, for the record.
The only thing left to wonder is if the mayor’s denial is like the dreaded vote of confidence a general manager gives a manager or coach just prior to the axing.
Kissing Up, or, The Kiss of Death
Speaking of the kiss of death, since the Boring Broadsheet published the gushing non-story of the non-sale trying to create the fiction that the financially troubled Berkshire Living magazine was going to be purchased by a deep-pocketed Knight in Shining Armor, have you noticed the periodic (though no less embarrassing) letters to the editor in the BB?
These letters are clearly put-up jobs. The latest is today, by someone who writes to say “what a great magazine” it is. They ran “a great article about farm stands” [no, the Planet isn’t making this up!]. We then find out, again, that “It is a truly great magazine.” That’s enough “greats” to be grating.
Funny how we keep hearing reports of the magazine stiffing its vendors. We recently heard from a writer friend, for example, who is still looking for money owed by Berkshire Unliving for a cover story written months ago. As if this isn’t bad enough, the nitwit editor of Berkshire Undying gets caught while on jury duty sending smoke signals about the case from his burning “Gosh, I’m hip, aren’t I Aren’t I?” fedora.
One magazine insider predicts the beautifully glossy-but-anorexic-and-getting-smaller mag will fold at the end of the year. Time will tell, oh beautiful people.
Tin Tony Tony Tips His Hand
The BB did break a huge story today on B1, noting what The Planet knew in December, as soon as Ward 7 councilor Joe Nichols said he would run for mayor. The Incredible Shrinking Man, Tony Maffuccio, will seek the seat he nearly broke for a bunch of years as Ward 7’s rep.
After his weight loss, Maffuccio never regained the stature he never had in the first place, and he got smoked by Jumpin’ Joe Nichols in the election. With a straight face, Tin-Ton Tony told the BB that Nichols mayoral plans had nothing to do with his re-election. Of course it didn’t.
We hope Anthony enjoys his time in the limelight again, since it will end prematurely. We have the name of a candidate for Ward 7 who will be declaring at some point. This person will be unbeatable. We bases this assessment on the person’s knowledge, stamina, relentlessness, and ethics. We will not reveal his or her name, but remember that The Planet has declared this person as the new Ward 7 rep.
If we gave the name in code, it would be *@^^@%)/(!&#+-==. You Edgar Allen Poe fans out there, read “The Gold Bug.” It will give you a clue.
Big Chief Asphalt Recycler
“If they buy it, it must be a boondoggle” — Pittsfield resident, prior to learning the council approved spending $125,000 on a pothole machine.
Our friend, The General, sums up the prevailing attitude in a citizenry sick and tired of being sick and tired by such lame political representation. The $125,000 pothole machine might be the greatest thing since dinosaurs roamed the earth in flip-flops, but how would We The People know it? How can anyone trust the government anymore, knowing that most of the time The Fix Is In. Which reminds us of a story involving the new ambulance company that we don’t have time to tell.
From Dick Lindsay’s report in the BB: “The council Tuesday night unanimously approved using unused funds …”
“Using unused funds.”
I took a trip back in time, in (Kevin) Sherman and Mr. Peabody’s Way Back Machine. I found myself in a college lecture room. The professor brings in examples of dead and dying prose. I don sunglasses to hide the glaze in my eyes.
I love Dick Linsday the man, and I understand that as a radio guy he is out of his element in print, and he must be lucky to have a gig, but … “using unused funds”?
Anyway, the unanimous deal bought an asphalt recycler that “could arrive” in the next month.
Translation: It will get here in January 2015.
The city will issue a request for bids from suppliers for the machine.
The Planet knows nothing about potholes except when our chariot finds one, but this sounds like a reasonable purchase. Amortized over the years, the recycler should pay for itself, providing one BIG IF: The city must maintain the machine and keep it in good working order.
Meanwhile, another far more intriguing story emerged last night from the council meeting, courtesy of Secret Agent Z12.
Angelo Me No Angelos, Peter Marchetti
One of our spies at the meeting noted a matter of far greater importance, one that somehow eluded Lindsay’s attention. This was the appearance of councilor Peter Marchetti in his “Angelo Stracuzzi” trick-or-treat outfit, replete with slicked back hair and pinstriped suit.
What is going on with that? Has Peter channeled the ghost of the disgraced former CEP of the Biggest Financial Company in the Berkshires? We hope not. We feel honor-bound to advise our Right Honorable Good Friend not to make any trips to Maine … particularly Biddeford, Maine.
AND TH-TH-TH THAT’S ALL FOLKS, TIL NEXT TIME. LOVE TO ALL.